(vol. 7S, no. 10; newsletter by h.s.)
Last night's Finals' game pitted the #1-ranked Flyers vs. the #6-ranked Coastal Pirates. Our road to the Championship game couldn't have been more tough: we had to fight off the #3-ranked Bad Boyz (our quarterfinals which ended in a shootout), the #2-ranked Micro (who had hazed us earlier in the season 7-3), and then finally we were facing the division's #1 team for all the marbles.

Here's the recap: From the first face-off, the Flyers were skating so fast they looked like a blur. They had beautiful puck control and our defensive unit of Roger-Dan-Russ-Scooby had their hands full with just trying to prevent them from camping-out behind our net and feeding the slot. But it was an errant clearing pass that would give the Flyers their first tally when they picked up the puck at center ice and put the breakaway in at about the 12:30 mark (auuggh, just off my shoulder) to make it 1-0. Fortunately Russ came to the rescue on the next shift when he took a pass from Roger and gunned a beautiful shot from just over the blueline to even things up 1-1. With all the offense the Flyers were generating, the 1-1 tie at the end of the 1st seemed like a moral victory at that point.

Then, during the start of the 2nd, Scott LeMatty was wrestling with about three Flyers during a scrum next to the crease; somehow Scott managed to gain possession and reach around the goalie for the score (kinda reminded me of that Peter Forsberg move during the Olympics vs. Canada). All of sudden we were up 2-1! A few shifts passed and the physical play increased and finally more pressure by the Flyers paid-off when they broke down with a 2-on-0; I stopped the first shot, but the rebound bounced off my leg pad right to the trailer who banged it in to tie things up 2-2. Before the 2nd period ended, the Flyers would score again to regain their lead, 3-2, and they were just 15:00 minutes away from the Title. Still, we were playing good hockey: Tim was winning the bulk of his faceoffs and Wildman, Dave & Dan were hustling up and down the ice (even Farkas was blocking shots).

The 3rd period had the feel of a game on the line -- bodies were being thrown around (including a little altercation featuring me) and with about 6:00 minutes remaining we went on the powerplay for a roughing penalty against the Flyers. Russ moved the puck to a breaking Glenn Farkas who was streaking down the right side all alone; Glenn wound up and rifled a shot from the the top of the circle for a goal! It was all tied-up 3-3 now with about 5:00 remaining. A late penalty against Russ (his second of the night for a trip) had our penalty-killing unit back on the ice and they did a great job on staying-off the Flyers (Roger is Mr. Cool in our zone and Dan was banging-up a storm against those boards). We would go on the powerplay one last time before the 3rd ended and we generated a lot of opportunities (Jimmy was getting a bunch of shots off, but we just couldn't get it in). And so It went to a 5:00 minute sudden death. By this time we had picked it up a notch and were controlling the puck even better. But when the buzzer sounded it was still tied at 3-3.

And so we go to the shootout. The Pirate shooters were Scooby, Russ and Jimmy. Scooby went first and did some bobbing and weaving and pulled the goalie down and out and slipped the puck in for the 1-0 lead. The Flyers went and somehow my stick made a great save (!). Next Russ did an awesome move from point blank to give us the 2-0 lead (you could just tell he was going to score even before he touched the puck). The next Flyers' shooter worked his way in and I stayed with him all the way to the side of the net (where I thought he had no angle left), but somehow his shot bounced off the inside of my arm and went in to keep the Flyers alive. Next Jimmy went smoking down the ice and blasted a slapper, but was turned away on a clean pad save. The last Flyer shooter went and faked and beat me wide to make things 2-2 -- and send it into a sudden death shootout. Our shooter was Scott LeMatty; Scott raced down and cut left and somehow squeezed the puck through for a goal! The next Flyer came down and -- do you believe in Miracles? -- I stopped it (I don't really remember how to be honest, but when I looked at the bench everyone was yelling so I must have). And we won! THE COASTAL PIRATES ARE CHAMPIONS AGAIN! Congrats guys, a great playoff and a great championship game!

WON 3-3 (s.o. 3-2)


“The Bull” wins us a title with a flick of his wrist.

He was blocking shots and scoring on the shootout — 'nuff said.

For his tying goal with 5:00 minutes remaining made it all happen.